arts calendar los angelesA week heavy on area museum artist talks and grown-up storytime and music hours, beginning with World AIDS Day arts programs of video and performance, diverse visual artists making acclaimed works of cinema, theatrical seasonal pageantry in the cathedral, paintings of cats you can never unsee, dance on a rooftop, crafting sock-monkey Santas, sound art at the villa, artists ameliorating public monuments, a pop-art toy drive, contemporary makers market brunch, and a new memoir from a favorite, fabulous voice of their generation.

talks arts calendar los angeles

Being & Belonging at Blum & Poe (Visual AIDS)

Thursday, December 1

Being & Belonging at Blum & Poe. The gallery commemorates Day With(out) Art with a Visual AIDS program of seven new videos centering the emotional reality of living with HIV today. The program features new work by Clifford Prince King, Jaewon Kim, Mikiki, Davina “Dee” Conner & Karin Hayes, Camila Arce, Jhoel Zempoalteca & La Jerry, and Camilo Acosta Huntertexas & Santiago Lemus. Day With(out) Art encourages museums, universities, museums, and art institutions to present related programming on or around December 1, World AIDS Day; over 100 around the globe will offer Being & Belonging. 2727 S. La Cienega, Culver City, On view December 1-17; free;

world aids day at highways

World AIDS Day at Highways

We Scream Your Name at Highways. This free all-day live event in recognition of World AIDS Day, features remembrance, blessings, community, and special guests Michael Kearns, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, and L.A. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The event’s title, We Scream Your Name, is a reference to a diary entry, “Scream my name.” by artist Kosta Pappas, who died in 1989 at age 35 due to AIDS complications. Contemplate in silence or raise your voice, share a performance or a reading, and help re-ink the names painted on Highways’ original 1989 AIDS Memorial Floor. 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Thursday, December 1, noon-10pm; free;

LATC virgen

LATC: La Virgen de Guadalupe

Friday, December 2

La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The Latino Theater Company’s signature holiday pageant features over 100 actors, singers, and indigenous Aztec dancers as well as community members. La Virgen is the City of L.A.’s largest theatrical holiday production. Join the tens of thousands who have become transfixed by the story of Juan Diego, a simple peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared on four occasions in the mountains of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández from the mid-16th century text The Nican Mopohua. 555 W. Temple St., downtown; Friday-Saturday, December 2-3, 6pm; free;

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Cauleen Smith: Drylongso at the Academy Museum

Daily Rains and Drylongso at the Academy Museum with Cauleen Smith in person. Using the language of structural filmmaking, artist Cauleen Smith creates some of the most indelible explorations of the female Black experience in the American avant-garde. Drawing from science fiction and Third Cinema, and rooted in an inquisition of truth, her works bring to light the vulnerabilities of Black women in America. Daily Rains is a measured, poetic work that confronts micro- and macro-aggressions; the coming-of-age feature Drylongso follows teen artist Pica on her quest to take photos of young African American men, whom she fears are becoming an increasingly “endangered species.” 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Friday, December 2, 7:30pm; $12;

all the beauty and the bloodshed neon films

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Neon)

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed at AMC Sunset 5. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the overdose crisis. 8000 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood; Opens Friday, December 2; December 9th 7pm screening is followed by a live Q&A with Poitras;

gregory jacobsen la luz

Gregory Jacobsen at La Luz de Jesus

Saturday, December 3

Gregory Jacobsen: Glamour Cats at La Luz de Jesus. Jacobsen’s paintings reveal cats’ fantastical, ridiculous, stately, silly, and sometimes scary sides. Inspired by 1980s glamor shots and yearbook photos, the work reveals human elements from shyness and vulnerability to mania and giddy joy, especially through the uncanny use of human features within the feline physiognomy. Meticulously rendered hair by hair, their detail and electrically exuberant palette give the images a precious jeweled quality. This feline glow and beauty know no bounds — or boundaries. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Opening reception: Saturday, December 3, 4-8pm; On view through December 31; free;

billy porter

Billy Porter at Book Soup

Billy Porter at Book Soup. Porter’s Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amid deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multi-talented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice. 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Saturday, December 3, 3pm; $18/ticket and book;

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Ben Tolman, Hanna Lee Joshi, Oscar Joyo at Thnkspace Projects

New Exhibitions and Holiday Party at Thinkspace Projects. Ben Tolman’s Unmode presents carefully detailed, architecture-based drawings. Hanna Lee Joshi’s What is it You Seek? offers vibrant faceless figurative works evoking an ethereal goddess, luminous, full of wonder and deeply human. Nika Mtwana’s Protagonist explores AfroFuturism; and Carl Cashman and Oscar Joyo’s Hybrid combines Cashman’s vibrant works of neon geometry and Joyo’s colorful explorations of chromesthesia. With DJs, an open bar, live painting, tamales, vape bar, video projections, a charity toy drive, and a curated makers market. 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams; Opening reception/holiday party: Saturday, December 3, 6-10pm; On view through December 31; free; 

moebius strips villa aurora

Tim Story at Villa Aurora

Tim Story: Moebius Strips at Villa Aurora. Composer and sound artist Tim Story’s unique homage to the musical legacy of the late Dieter “Moebi” Moebius is an immersive audio sculpture inspired by his decades-long friendship with the influential Swiss/German electronic musician. Story collected thousands of his sounds, noises, samples and loops, reimagining and recomposing them into “strips” that recombine in new and ever-evolving layers, inviting listeners to discover Moebius’ engagingly skewed sonic playground for themselves. 520 Paseo Miramar, Pacific Palisades; Saturday, December 3, 4-8pm; free w/rsvp;

Illuminate graphics designed by David Hernandez Taller Para Nosotros

Illuminate LA (Design by David Hernandez/Taller Para Nosotros)

Illuminate LA: Undoing Monumental Harm Through Visual Art at Grand Park. Designed and produced by cultural organizer Anuradha Vikram of Curative Projects, LA County Arts & Culture’s Illuminate LA discourse series examines how Grand Park’s 20th-century monuments relate to 21st-century Angelenos. Artists Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Connie Martin Trevino, Jackie Amezquita, Nicole Rademacher, and Paul Donald lead an afternoon of participatory workshops to commemorate the public histories and cultural memories that are not, or are no longer, represented by the physical spaces and objects downtown. Participants will create ephemeral artworks as “anti-monuments” or “unmonuments” that reflect their own experiences of Los Angeles. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Saturday, December 3, 1-4pm; free;

the facade of the craft

The Craft Contemporary

Holiday Marketplace at Craft Contemporary. A festive shopping weekend showcasing a curated selection of exceptional, one-of-a-kind contemporary craft and design by LA-based makers, this annual event is held in the museum’s outdoor courtyard and features booths from 20+ local artists, crafters, and designers. Celebrate the vibrant community of local makers while supporting the mission and programming of Craft Contemporary, plus music and treats. Preview guests enjoy advanced access to the Marketplace, a more intimate shopping experience, and a complimentary cocktail and breakfast bar, with a colorful DIY gift-wrapping station. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile; Saturday, December 3, Preview brunch: 10-11:30am, $30; Saturday, December 3, 11:30am-5pm, $9; Sunday, December 4, 11:30am-5pm, pay what you can;

Heidi Duckler Dance on the roof of the Bendix Building

Heidi Duckler Dance

Sunday, December 4

Heidi Duckler Dance: Play by Ear. Weaving together performances, exchanging ideas, sharing food and experiencing the warmth of gathering, Play by Ear is a participatory evening that unfolds stories and songs about how we might envision a future together. Tlayudas for dinner with jamaica and margaritas; and performances by Five Skins, Jessica Emmanuel Kamyi Lee, and Weaver in a collaboration between classical music, one of our spectacular dancers and choreographers, a long time collaborating video engineer, designer and immersive genius, and an upscale sewing innovator in the hand craft arts. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave, rooftop; Sunday, December 4, 6-8pm; $25-$35;

paul frank santa baby

Paul Frank

Paul Frank Holiday Art Workshop at Laguna Art Museum. Create a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree topper inspired by the colorful & playful world of Paul Frank. The creator of Julius the Monkey, and many more whimsical characters, Paul Frank is an iconic California designer, artist, and maker. Join Paul Frank himself as he leads the workshop and gives you the opportunity to let your own creativity shine by adding your special touches to your Julius-themed holiday decoration. Supplies included. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach; Sunday, December 4, noon; $120, free for kids under 12;

black panthers agnes varda 1968 web

Agnes Varda’s Black Panthers (1968)

Didion and the Counterculture at the Hammer. Ringing throughout Joan Didion’s pieces on the counterculture and political militancy of the long 1960s is a clear note of skepticism. These four works offer contrasting vibe reports from those same milieus: Agnès Varda’s dispatch on the Black Panthers in Oakland, Kenneth Anger’s avant-garde summoning (which stars Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil), Ralph Arlyck’s portrait of a four-year-old hippie in the Haight, and a Newsreel documentary about one woman’s path to feminist self-understanding. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Sunday, December 4, 7pm; free;

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Patti Smith

Monday, December 5

ALOUD presents Patti Smith: Songs at Stories at the Saban Theater. Smith discusses her new book, A Book of Days, chronicling her life through her Instagram posts. In 2018, Patti Smith posted her first photo on Instagram: her hand with the simple message “Hello Everybody!” Known for shooting with her beloved Land Camera 250, Smith started posting images from her phone which included portraits of her kids, her radiator, her boots, and her Abyssinian cat. Over time, a story of a life devoted to art took shape with more than a million followers responding to her unique and imaginative aesthetic. Smith will take the stage alone to discuss the book, her photographs, play several songs, and talk with the audience about her career. 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Monday, December 5, 7:30pm; $10-$40;

Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio Junker Garden 2007. 1976 Volvo 240 GL. Donated by Olivia Chumacero. Adapted by Farmlab Richard Nielsen Guy Hatzvi and Jaime Lopez Wolters.

Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio, “Junker Garden,” 2007. 1976 Volvo 240 GL. Donated by Olivia Chumacero. Adapted by Farmlab: Richard Nielsen, Guy Hatzvi, and Jaime Lopez Wolters.

Tuesday, December 6

Lauren Bon Artist Talk at the Benton Museum. Bon presents The Metabolic Studio’s ongoing infrastructural artwork, Bending the River, which re-imagines the relationship between Los Angeles and the river that brought it into existence. Utilizing principles of adaptive re-use, the project moves a portion of LA River water through a native wetland treatment, and redistributes it to the Los Angeles State Historic Park for irrigation. Located on Tongva land, Bending the River is evolving through conversation with artists, native communities, activists, local community and the many governmental agencies needed in order to realize this work. 1050 N. Mills Ave., Claremont; Tuesday, December 6, 4:15pm; free;

at the cheech

The de la Torre Brothers at The Cheech

Einar and Jamex de la Torre Artists Talk at The Cheech. Collidoscope: de la Torre Retro-Perspective is The Cheech’s first temporary exhibition — encompassing almost three decades of work by Einar and Jamex de la Torre, with more than 70 mixed-media works, including blown-glass sculptures, installation art, and examples of the Brothers’ newest lenticular pieces. The captivating show was curated by Selene Preciado and developed in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino, and is slated for a national tour after closing in January. Join the museum for a wide-ranging talk with the de la Torre brothers in conversation with Marcos “Erre” Ramirez, moderated by Collidoscope guest curator, Selene Preciado. 3581 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; Tuesday, December 6, 6-8pm; free;

lauren halsey at csudh

Lauren Halsey at CSUDH

Wednesday, December 7

Lauren Halsey Artist Talk at CalState Dominguez Hills. The artist’s latest venture in funkified placemaking, the exhibition extends Halsey’s architectural mappings, materializing itself in objects, names, remembrances, and colors of home. Red, black, and green (the colors of the Pan-African flag) sit parallel with orange, yellow, pink, and blue hyper pigments (the colors of South Central). Together, this spectrum etches out decelerations, provocations, the naming of the dead, and the aesthetic genius of Black people. These objects float in the mirrored floor and aluminum-draped foregrounds, orienting themselves as structures simultaneously taking off and landing. 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson; Wednesday, December 7, 3pm; free;

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Lauren Halsey at CSUDH

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Lauren Halsey at CSUDH






























































































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